About the Netchatef - aka The Harpazo, aka The Rapture
In case you're reading this at some point in the future, I want to give you this warning to heed: If there has been what the media is calling a worldwide UFO abduction of people, or something equally bizarre, don't you believe it. The real truth is that the "Church"; the Ecclesia; the Called Out Ones; the Believers in the Father's Word have been removed from the earth to be spared the Day of His Wrath and a 3.5 year period known as the Great Tribulation - the second half of the 7-year Tribulation. If this event isn't enough to convince you, perhaps something else soon will ... I can only hope that these writings of mine will help to guide you onto the Path of Truth and show you The Way.
This event, commonly referred to as "the Rapture," is a very controversial issue. The word rapture doesn't appear in the Scriptures -- except in the Latin Vulgate (as "rapturo"), produced around 400 A.D. -- but, nonetheless, the event itself sure does! For example, the Greek word harpazo (say "har-pod-zoe"), usually translated caught up, as in 1st Thessalonians 4:17, conveys the idea clearly enough.
One of the most widely circulated attacks against the Rapture is that it is a very recent teaching which was started by a woman named Margaret MacDonald, in 1830 ... but this is false and misleading. Ephraem the Syrian wrote, in 373 AD, "For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins." ... revealing that the early "Church" fathers themselves were indeed teaching this.
Another false pretense is that the "last trumpet" of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and the "trumpet of Elohim" mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 both refer to the Rapture happening in concurance with the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11 ... however, this is a silly notion because the Book of Revelation had not yet been written when the books of Corinthians and Thessalonians were penned; how could a reference possibly be made to an event that had not yet been known about!?
Further, the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians, revealed to be the trumpet of Elohim in 1 Thessalonians, also negates the idea that Paul is referring to the 7th trumpet in the Book of Revelation, chapter 11, because the trumpets in the Book of Revelation are all trumpets of Angels ... not the trumpet of Elohim.
Many people don't understand the concept of the rapture ... not because of their lack of understanding about eschatology; the study of last-days prophecy, but because of their lack of understanding about ecclesiology; the study of the Called Out Ones ("Church"); the mystery of the Body of Yahshua, the Messiah.
Nonetheless, the best way around all of this is to apply Acts 17:11 to your concerns -- examine the Scriptures daily and decide for yourself:
My understanding is that the rapture involves all believers who have sincerely accepted Yahshua, the Messiah, as their personal Master and Saviour; those who have fully given their lives over to Him. These are removed; snatched up; taken off the earth before the so-called antichrist is revealed. These are the ones that Yahshua, the Messiah calls His "Church" -- Note: The original Greek word for ""Church"" is Ecclesia (say "ek - la - see - ah"), which means called out ones -- the ones who are spared the experience of going through the Great Tribulation.
Imagine ... some of us who are living today will never know what it's like to die! See 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18.
Another interesting point to ponder is that when the "Church" is raptured, the Qodesh Spirit is also taken away -- removed, with the "Church", from the earth. If you've ever heard references made about the end of the "Church" Age, this event would be just that. And, I don't know about you, but when I think of what it would be like to be on this earth without the Qodesh Spirit ... man, oh man ... we're talking about some serious darkness in the world! It is the Qodesh Spirit who now restrains Satan ... who now letteth the mystery of iniquity work ... until the Qodesh Spirit be taken out of the way, when the rapture occurs.
I have nine reasons, supported by some thirty-six Scriptures (noted below), showing why I believe that this indescribable event will occur before the Day of His Wrath ... indeed, before the antichrist appears publicly. If you have any problems with that, don't worry about it ... I'll explain it to you on the way up.
The "Church" (Called Out Ones) & The "Saints" (Believers)
The "Church" is a specific group of believers in Yahshua, the Messiah. It is not a building ... nor is it any particular denomination or religion. Also known as the Body of Yahshua, the Messiah, the "Church" is something that began at Pentecost -- see Acts 2:1-4 and culminates at the rapture -- see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. It does not include anyone who was a believer prior to or after the two above-mentioned events. The terms saints or elect refer to another specific group of believers. This group includes all the First Covenant saints, as well as those who become believers in Yahshua, the Messiah after the rapture.
There is a marked difference in the Scriptures when you look at references to the "Church" compared with references to the saints or the elect. The "Church" is always refered to in very narrow and distinct terms, whereas the saints or the elect are always refered to in very broad terms. More pointed, however, is the fact that the word "Church" never appears again after Revelation 3:22 -- you'll only see the saints or the elect mentioned throughout the rest of the book -- and this is directly after a very significant reference to the rapture, in Revelation 3:10
In Revelation 1:20 Yahshua Himself tells us, "the seven lampstands (candlesticks in the KJV) are the seven "Churches" ... and in Revelation 4:4-5, where John is describing the Father's throne in Heaven, he sees twenty-four elders dressed in white, wearing crowns (representing the "Church") and he sees those seven lampstands before the throne; the "Church" is in Heaven before the seven seals are broken.
In Matthew 16:18 Yahshua tells Peter that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His "Church", while in Revelation 13:7 and Daniel 7:21, Satan makes war with the saints and prevails over them. Again, there is an obvious difference between "Church" and saints: the saints will be prevailed over, during the Great Tribulation; the "Church" will not be prevailed over, being in Heaven during the Great Tribulation.
In 1st Corinthians 15:22-23 it says that all those in Yahshua, the Messiah shall be made alive, but each in his own turn. First, Yahshua, the Messiah, the firstfruits; the plural here (firstfruits), I believe, refers to Yahshua, the Messiah and the "Church" at the rapture, before the Great Tribulation. And then, second, when He comes, those who belong to Him; referring to the Second Coming and the saints, after the Great Tribulation.
Yahshua gives a parable in Luke 12:45-46 about a servant who believes his master is taking a long time in coming. His master will come on a day when he doesn't expect him and will assign him a place with the unbelievers. I believe this is saying that the saints are assigned that place (through the tribulation) with the unbelievers ... whereas, as 1st Thessalonians 5:4 clarifies, the "Church" will not be taken by surprise or assigned that place with the unbelievers -- they are raptured before the tribulation.
The Rapture & The Second Coming
There is a marked difference in the Scriptures when you look at references to the Netchatef (Harpazo or Rapture) compared with references to the Second Coming of Yahshua, the Messiah.
|The Netchatef:||The Second Coming:|
| He Comes In the Air
1st Thessalonians 4:17 & Acts 1:11
| He Comes to the Earth
| He Comes For His Bride
| He Comes With His Bride
| Only His Own See Him
Luke 12:37 & 1st Thessalonians 5:4
| Everyone On Earth Sees Him
| Translation of all believers.|| No translation at all.|
| Translated believers go to Heaven.|| Translated believers return to earth.|
| Earth not judged.|| Earth judged; righteousness established.|
| No one knows the day or hour.|| Follows definite signs; Tribulation.|
| Occurs before the day of wrath.|| Concludes the day of wrath.|
| No reference to Satan.|| Satan is bound.|
| Tribulation begins.|| Millennial Kingdom begins.|
The Earth Dwellers & The Heaven Dwellers
Yahshua's chosen ones are not of this world -- John 17:16 -- but of His Heavenly Kingdom, as He points out in John 17:24
There are many references throughout the Book of Revelation that speak of them that dwell upon the earth, such as Revelation 3:10, 11:10, 13:8 and 14:6. Also, in Revelation 12:12 we see reference made to both them that dwell in heaven and them that dwell on earth.
In Revelation 13:6 the beast blasphemes Yahweh's name, His tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven -- I believe these references to them that dwell in Heaven are to the "Church" ... those who are raptured, and remain in Heaven. The earth dwellers are those who worship the beast; the antichrist.
One of the most mysterious verses I've ever seen regarding those that dwell in Heaven is found in Isaiah 26:20 where it says hide yourselves in your rooms until His wrath has passed by. Couple that with John 14:2-3 where Yahshua says in my Father's house there are many rooms; I go there to prepare a place for you ... and 1st Thessalonians 5:9 where it says Elohim did not appoint us to suffer wrath ... also, consider Psalm 27:5 (that rock is Yahshua, the Messiah) ... and a very interesting picture begins to present itself.
An Important Clarification About 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2
I've seen students of the Scriptures get confused too many times about this passage of Scripture, so I offer this clarification of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 2:7-8:
In Chapter 2, verse 3, we are told that the Day of Yahweh will not come until the Man of Lawlessness is revealed ... whereas, in verses 7 and 8 of that same Chapter, we are told that the Netchatef occurs (the restrainer is taken) and then the Lawless One will be revealed. Assuming that The Day of Yahweh is referring to the Netchatef is what causes all the confusion, leading some to think that the Netchatef will not occur until the antichrist is revealed. However, this is an inaccurate understanding. The truth is that the Netchatef will occur before the antichrist is revealed ... and here's why:
The key to clarity regarding verse 3 lies in understanding that the Day of Yahweh speaks of The Second Coming of the Yahshua, the Messiah ... not the Rapture. Verse 3 is saying that the Second Coming will not happen until after the Man of Lawlessness, commonly known as the antichrist, is revealed.
The Day of Yahweh is what clarifies this truth for us. The Day of Yahweh is foretold throughout the First Covenant and is fulfilled in the book of Revelation; it always refers to events surrounding the Second Coming of the Yahshua, the Messiah and is always spoken of in regard to Israel as well -- the "Church" was a complete mystery until it was revealed by the Apostle Paul ... therefore, simple logic alone tells us that the Day of Yahweh could not possibly be referring to the Netchatef.
Note: Most versions of the Scriptures read the Day of the Lord ... there are a few, however, that read the Day of Christ -- nonetheless, this term is what is referred to in the First Covenant as the Day of Yahweh and speaks of the Coming of Yahshua, the Messiah.
What follows, in red, are my clarifications:2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
Concerning the (second) coming of our Master Yahshua, and our being gathered to him (in the Netchatef), we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us (there were pseudo-scriptures being written and passed around as though they were written by Paul), saying that the day of Yahweh (the Tribulation) has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the Day of Yahweh) will not come until the rebellion occurs and (the Apostacy; the Falling Away; departure from the faith and/or the Netchatef occurs, followed by) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called Elohim or is worshipped (all religions and beliefs, witchcraft, magic, etc., etc.), so that he sets himself up in the Father's temple (the Temple that is yet to be built in Jerusalem), proclaiming himself to be Elohim.
Note: For an explanation of 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2, watch my 10-minute video clarifying verses 1, 2, and 3: 2 Thessalonians | An Important Clarification ... also, see the next entry, below.
The "Church" Is Taken Out Before The Time of Wrath
In Revelation 3:10, Yahshua says I will keep thee from the hour of temptation. The word from is the Greek word Ek which means out of and away from the hour of temptation; the Father's Wrath; the Great Tribulation -- see Strong's #1537 -- He does not say He will keep you safely through it, but out of it ... as in snatched up!
Also, in 1st Thessalonians 1:10, it says that Yahshua has delivered us from the wrath to come. The word from, in this example, is the Greek word Apo -- see Strong's #575 -- which means separation and departing or a part is taken ... the implication here is in a physical sense; of distance and of place.
In 1st Thessalonians 4:17, the term caught up is the Greek word Harpazo which means to be carried off by force; or the Aramaic/Hebrew word Netchatef which means kidnapped ... to meet the Master in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Master -- Yahshua is not returning to the earth here; the "Church" meets Him in the air and ever remains with Him.
Again, in John 14:2-3, Yahshua says And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also ... He can only be speaking of the rapture here; at the Second Coming He doesn't take anyone anywhere!
Another one of my favorite, more mystical passages is 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8 ... check out the way it reads in the New International Version:2nd Thessalonians 2: 7. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master Yahshua will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.The lawless one is the Beast ... "Mr. 666" ... aka, the antichrist. The one who now holds lawlessness back is none other than the Qodesh Spirit ... and the Qodesh Spirit will continue to hold lawlessness back until the Qodesh Spirit is taken out of the way. Since the Qodesh Spirit operates through the "Church", I believe this statement about being taken out of the way is a reference to the Netchatef itself. Verse eight continues by saying And THEN the lawless one will be revealed ... clearly pointing out that the "Church" is removed before the so-called antichrist -- the Beast -- is revealed; before he becomes publicly known.